We look forward every year to bringing an impressive cross-section of the museum field together for our Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo. We also know that to meet our full potential, our Alliance needs to hear from the broadest possible spectrum of people who work throughout the whole field of museums.
For some of you, the costs of attending a conference may put this rewarding experience out of reach, and that means a lost opportunity not only for you, but for our field as a whole. That’s why we’re always looking for ways to make our Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo more affordable whenever we can.
For our 2019 gathering in New Orleans, we’re introducing a few new ways to keep conference attendance affordable to as many of you as possible:
- Volunteering: Attendees can save on registration by volunteering. In 2019, for the first time, we’re extending this opportunity beyond just the local area. Now, volunteers from across the US and abroad can apply to receive complimentary full registration in exchange for working at least 10 hours in shifts. This is an excellent way to meet your peers from other institutions as you help us deliver an outstanding experience for our attendees.
- Scholarships: Each year, we raise funds to support broad participation at the conference through scholarships. For our 2018 conference in Phoenix, we provided 77 scholarships so that students and museum professionals at various stages of their careers could attend. The Alliance Scholarship Program is designed to nurture greater inclusion by supporting the professional development of individuals from underrepresented or marginalized groups. We’re working hard to support even more scholarships in New Orleans, and are making conference scholarships the focus of our 2018 Giving Tuesday appeal.
- Child Care: Work-life balance is tough enough for single parents and families with small children, and we don’t want you to miss out on our conference because of a lack of child care. So we’ve arranged for child care services for our attendees in New Orleans, and we’re subsidizing part of the costs to keep the rates you pay as affordable as possible.
- Evening Events: Our attendees tell us how much they value the networking connections they make at our evening events, usually held at nearby museums. This year, we’re including a free ticket to the opening or closing event as part of your registration, to help you meet that one contact who might open doors to new opportunities for your museum, or for your career.
- Leadership Level Registration: We know many AAM members who have benefited from the generosity of others earlier in their career, and now they want to pay it forward. So this year we’ve added our Leadership Level registration, which includes a Full Conference pass for you, while also covering the registration cost for another professional to attend.
- Travel: To keep your travel expenses down, we’ve negotiated travel discounts with Delta, American Airlines, and United Airlines.
With our theme of “sustaining vibrant museums” in New Orleans, you can expect plenty of candid discussions about costs, budgets, and revenue streams in our sessions. In that same spirit, we want you to know how your registration dollars are spent. The AAM Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo is the largest annual convening of museum professionals in the world. Here is a high-level breakdown of the costs of providing this experience for our attendees:
This translates to a cost per attendee of $841.64**, but of course the rate you pay for registration is well below that amount. Our ability to keep registration prices low is due in large part to the fantastic financial support that our exhibitors, sponsors, and other funders provide to make it all possible. We truly couldn’t do it without them, so please be sure to thank them when you have the chance.
Finally, we know that despite our best efforts to keep our conference affordable, it can only convene – at best – a small part of our field. Some of you simply cannot travel out of town, and we need your voices, your good ideas and your participation to make the Alliance as awesome as we aspire to be. To that end, we’re hosting more local in-person events, experimenting with free online convenings, and sometimes combining the two with our watch-and-talk events.
We welcome your feedback on how we’re doing—email our meetings team with your thoughts or questions.
*includes decorators, photographers, sign language interpreters, Local Host Coordinator, etc.
**based on budgeted estimated of 3,167 paid attendees